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Rakuten shakes up Japan mobile market with $28 unlimited data

E-retailer poised to spark price war once coverage improves

Rakuten Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani touted the "shockingly" low price of the company's unlimited-data plan in a livestreamed news conference Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Rakuten)

TOKYO -- Rakuten came out swinging onto Japan's wireless scene with its announcement Tuesday of a price plan with unlimited data at less than half the price of its main rivals.

The e-retailer's 2,980 yen ($27.60) monthly rate would get consumers only about 1 gigabyte of data per month at Japan's three big carriers, or 10 GB at budget mobile companies such as SoftBank Group unit Ymobile.

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